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Butterfly/Pollinator Havens - Which plants are your favorite to cultivate?

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Re: Butterfly/Pollinator Havens - Which plants are your favorite to cultivate?

Post  sanderson on 8/13/2014, 12:22 pm

Windmere, Thanks for the info and links. I've always had a patch or two of chrysanthemums in the yards (birth flower) but not the Pyrethrum daisies. My mums last for years and they divide easily. I just may incorporate the P. daisy.

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Re: Butterfly/Pollinator Havens - Which plants are your favorite to cultivate?

Post  Windmere on 8/13/2014, 12:26 pm

@camprn wrote:+1 Virginia creeper.  Can you get a closer view of the blue bloom?


Camprn, this is a close up picture of my mystery blue flower:



Below is what I believe to be milkweed variety Asclepias tuberosa.  I would like to purchase more seeds from Everwilde, but I want to be sure.  My mother-in-law and I saw hummingbirds going back and forth to these flowers all during summer.  I did not think this variety attracted hummingbirds... but there they were.  These flowers are literally the last three flowers of the season.  I guess I was lucky to catch these.


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Re: Butterfly/Pollinator Havens - Which plants are your favorite to cultivate?

Post  CapeCoddess on 8/15/2014, 3:08 pm

Besides the usual Butterfly Weed, hosta, sedum & such, the bees in my yard absolutely LOVE gaura.  I can't even get near these plants this time of year - there seems to be one or more on just about every stem.

 
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Re: Butterfly/Pollinator Havens - Which plants are your favorite to cultivate?

Post  llama momma on 8/15/2014, 3:59 pm

I find anise hyssop and borage both blue flowered plants bring in a lot of bees.  We also let the clover in the lawn flower for awhile before getting around to mow.  They flower again real fast so I'm happy with the number of pollinators.

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Re: Butterfly/Pollinator Havens - Which plants are your favorite to cultivate?

Post  Windmere on 8/16/2014, 12:31 am

@CapeCoddess wrote:Besides the usual Butterfly Weed, hosta, sedum & such, the bees in my yard absolutely LOVE gaura.  I can't even get near these plants this time of year - there seems to be one or more on just about every stem.

 
CC
CC, thanks for your comments about gaura.  I never heard of it till now.  I looked it up and it sounds wonderful.  Interesting that it has such a long tap root.  I guess once you plant it, it's not going anywhere!  I like that it is drought resistant (that tap root!).

I found an offering for gaura from Everwilde through Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Everwilde-Farms-Scarlet-Native-Wildflower/dp/B00HME9A9E/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1408163920&sr=8-3&keywords=everwilde+gaura

Everwilde also has a biennial variety:

http://www.amazon.com/Everwilde-Farms-Biennial-Native-Wildflower/dp/B003AD9D0W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1408163920&sr=8-1&keywords=everwilde+gaura

I don't understand the difference (well, I know what a biennial is... I just don't know why there are evidently two kinds).   Just a note on Everwilde, after you pay around $2.50 to ship your first packet of seeds, there are no more additional shipping charges for subsequent seed packets.  Everwilde uses foil zip lock packaging.  Wildflowers are one of this Wisconsin-based company's specialties.  I've purchased from them many times for some non-flower items, and their seeds are always very viable and dependable.  Based on several of the comments here and there on the forum, I've purchased a bunch of wildflower seeds (monarda and others).

LM, quite some time ago I bought a tub of anise seed from our farmer's market.  Purchased in the capacity of a spice, it's quite cheap. I never really followed through on planting it though, so you've inspired me to revisit that next season.  From the little bit I've read about it, it seems to grow very well with coriander/cilantro as a companion.

Everwilde has anise hyssop as well:

http://www.amazon.com/Everwilde-Farms-Hyssop-Native-Wildflower/dp/B003AD99F6/ref=aag_m_pw_dp?ie=UTF8&m=A20N69YSW9TOUN


Last edited by Windmere on 8/16/2014, 12:53 am; edited 4 times in total (Reason for editing : added info about seeds)

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Re: Butterfly/Pollinator Havens - Which plants are your favorite to cultivate?

Post  Pollinator on 8/16/2014, 3:18 pm

@Windmere wrote:
I am getting ready to do my seed ordering.  Please let me know your thoughts.   Very Happy 

(And you Middle Southerners, don't be shy!)

I've seen lots of good ideas here. One that I may have missed is Spiderwort - a long bloomer and the little bees love it.

The little bees have less charisma, but are important pollinators. They also love anything in the dill/fennel/parsley family.

And don't forget the rest of their needs, either. Your purpose is not to attract them, because their populations are too thin now. Rather your purpose is to build up their populations.

So make sure they have fresh water at all times, but especially in drought.

Some need mud to nest. We have a big lump of clay under the air conditioner drip line.

Many need appropriate spots to nest, and nesting materials. We have bundles of reeds and briar canes in sheltered spots for them to use.

And most of all, protection from poisoning. A yard-fogging neighbor or an area-wide mosquito spray can undo all the good you do.

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Re: Butterfly/Pollinator Havens - Which plants are your favorite to cultivate?

Post  llama momma on 8/16/2014, 3:44 pm

@Windmere wrote:LM, quite some time ago I bought a tub of anise seed from our farmer's market.  Purchased in the capacity of a spice, it's quite cheap. I never really followed through on planting it though, so you've inspired me to revisit that next season.  From the little bit I've read about it, it seems to grow very well with coriander/cilantro as a companion.

Everwilde has anise hyssop as well:

http://www.amazon.com/Everwilde-Farms-Hyssop-Native-Wildflower/dp/B003AD99F6/ref=aag_m_pw_dp?ie=UTF8&m=A20N69YSW9TOUN
My cilantro and anise hyssop grew very close to each other and grew like weeds, both over 4 ft tall.
Anise hyssop can be made into something called Oxymel.  I learned it is an ancient brew of hyssop soaked in honey and taken by teaspoon to relieve winter cold chest congestion.  But too much of it has been known to cause convulsions.  Why do I mention this?  Wondering if anyone has made this stuff and what they think of it. I'm curious as I have lots of local honey stored away but the threat of convulsions is stopping me....   Anyone have experience with oxymel??

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Re: Butterfly/Pollinator Havens - Which plants are your favorite to cultivate?

Post  Windmere on 8/16/2014, 10:05 pm

@Pollinator wrote:
@Windmere wrote:
I am getting ready to do my seed ordering.  Please let me know your thoughts.   Very Happy 

(And you Middle Southerners, don't be shy!)

I've seen lots of good ideas here. One that I may have missed is Spiderwort - a long bloomer and the little bees love it.

The little bees have less charisma, but are important pollinators. They also love anything in the dill/fennel/parsley family.

And don't forget the rest of their needs, either. Your purpose is not to attract them, because their populations are too thin now. Rather your purpose is to build up their populations.

So make sure they have fresh water at all times, but especially in drought.

Some need mud to nest. We have a big lump of clay under the air conditioner drip line.

Many need appropriate spots to nest, and nesting materials. We have bundles of reeds and briar canes in sheltered spots for them to use.

And most of all, protection from poisoning. A yard-fogging neighbor or an area-wide mosquito spray can undo all the good you do.
I love it pollinator!  Spiderwort is very pretty.  Everwilde sells an Ohio Spiderwort and a Prairie Spiderwort.  Do you have a preference? 

PRAIRIE:
http://www.amazon.com/Everwilde-Farms-Spiderwort-Native-Wildflower/dp/B003ADFDG0/ref=sr_1_sc_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1408240699&sr=8-3-spell&keywords=spiderwart+seeds

OHIO
http://www.amazon.com/Everwilde-Farms-Prairie-Spiderwort-Wildflower/dp/B003AD9H6C/ref=pd_sim_sbs_lg_4?ie=UTF8&refRID=12NV5BDX5PFCZ8ST7DET

The reason I ask is I am wondering if one variety would do better in my hot humid climate.

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Re: Butterfly/Pollinator Havens - Which plants are your favorite to cultivate?

Post  Marc Iverson on 8/16/2014, 10:18 pm

We've got crepe myrtle trees, and they host enormous numbers of bees, having what must be many thousands of flowers grouped in countless large bunches.  The massive number of bees can be LOUD when you stand underneath.  Really cool looking too, when in bloom.

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Re: Butterfly/Pollinator Havens - Which plants are your favorite to cultivate?

Post  Windmere on 8/16/2014, 10:23 pm

@llama momma wrote:
@Windmere wrote:LM, quite some time ago I bought a tub of anise seed from our farmer's market.  Purchased in the capacity of a spice, it's quite cheap. I never really followed through on planting it though, so you've inspired me to revisit that next season.  From the little bit I've read about it, it seems to grow very well with coriander/cilantro as a companion.

Everwilde has anise hyssop as well:

http://www.amazon.com/Everwilde-Farms-Hyssop-Native-Wildflower/dp/B003AD99F6/ref=aag_m_pw_dp?ie=UTF8&m=A20N69YSW9TOUN
My cilantro and anise hyssop grew very close to each other and grew like weeds, both over 4 ft tall.
Anise hyssop can be made into something called Oxymel.  I learned it is an ancient brew of hyssop soaked in honey and taken by teaspoon to relieve winter cold chest congestion.  But too much of it has been known to cause convulsions.  Why do I mention this?  Wondering if anyone has made this stuff and what they think of it. I'm curious as I have lots of local honey stored away but the threat of convulsions is stopping me....   Anyone have experience with oxymel??
LM:  Wow, that is fascinating that you have some first hand experience with the anise hyssop/cilantro companion planting. 

Oxymel?  No I have no experience with it, but I did look it up.  I found one site that teaches one how to make a Rose Petal Oxymel.  It sure was pretty.

However, while I was thinking about the connection between anise and congestion... it made me remember an old Pennsylvania Dutch remedy from my mom.  You see, I have had asthma all my life.  I had to drink all sorts of evil preparations that were to help my breathing... but there was one that I LOVED.  That was licorice root tea. Of course, anise and licorice are similar, so that's why all this came to my mind.

In fact, just as an aside, I have in my pantry this particular tea right now (Breath Easy Tea):

http://www.pipingrock.com/respiratory-health/breathe-easy-tea-39750?prd=D0000L&utm_source=pricegrabber&utm_medium=shopping&utm_campaign=datafeed&CA_6C15C=1935222776

If you like licorice, then this is the tea for you (even if you don't have respiratory problems).  Besides licorice root, it has bitter fennel seed, peppermint, calendula, and ginger root.  My daughter drinks it just because she loves the way it tastes.  Yogi makes another good tea called "Egyptian Licorice."

Oh, and I listed Piping Rock because they are one of my favorite new merchants.  They sell lots of good stuff for a fair price and they do not charge shipping.

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Re: Butterfly/Pollinator Havens - Which plants are your favorite to cultivate?

Post  llama momma on 8/17/2014, 12:15 am

Windmere
I had Yogi Egyptian Tea a long time ago.  Think there was a warning of some type on the packaging material.  It was a very interesting flavored tea that I never had before.

The oxymel recipe that I found online wasn't the rose petal kind you mentioned, it was def. anise hyssop oxymel.  But of course I can't find it tonight.  Rolling Eyes 

Here is a neat article on anise hyssop, it mentions its use with asthma:

http://www.vitaminsestore.com/hyssop-benefits-reviews-side-effects-and-dosage/

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Re: Butterfly/Pollinator Havens - Which plants are your favorite to cultivate?

Post  AtlantaMarie on 8/17/2014, 8:29 am

Interesting article, LM.  Don't particularly care for licorice, but may have to re-think all of this.  I've got asthma too...

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Re: Butterfly/Pollinator Havens - Which plants are your favorite to cultivate?

Post  camprn on 8/17/2014, 9:41 am

The bees love the hyssop I my garden as well.

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Re: Butterfly/Pollinator Havens - Which plants are your favorite to cultivate?

Post  disccopy on 8/17/2014, 11:27 am

I'm new to the forum and to my area here in Indiana ( came from FL) I have started my butterfly/hummingbird garden with various nectar plants. Buddleia, Cone Flowers,  &  others flowering  along with a Passion Vine  & Milkweed  just 1 variety this year which are hosts and dill, fennel, parsley which are also hosts. I found my sunflowers ( seed from my birdfeeder) have attracted loads of bees to everything,which is great. 


 When you speak of companion planting, in FL aphids were always an issue on many of my plans especially my gardenias BUT once I started planting the milkweed ( I had LOTS for all the monarchs) the aphids stayed off everything BUT the milkweed and then the ladybugs would feast on the aphids. It was a great symbiotic relationship.


Sorry to report very few butterflies have been around this year. I usually would find swallowtail eggs or babies on the parsley  when I would hit the garden center area at various stores, like my Wal-Mart but nothing this year.  I then would bring them home to raise. I would do the same with milkweed  looking for babies and or eggs  Very Happy 

No monarchs at all as my milkweed goes uneaten Sad 

I definitely want to add more plants next year & love the suggestions  that have been posted

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Re: Butterfly/Pollinator Havens - Which plants are your favorite to cultivate?

Post  landarch on 8/17/2014, 6:43 pm

I finally saw some big butterflies around the garden today (no pics)...monarch (first one in several years), tiger swallowtail, and fritillary.

And don't you know it, cole crops have been in the ground for just a few days and the cabbage moths have shown up full force.

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Re: Butterfly/Pollinator Havens - Which plants are your favorite to cultivate?

Post  disccopy on 8/17/2014, 7:14 pm

Hopefully they will migrate east!  Maybe there is hope I'll still have some this year sunny

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Re: Butterfly/Pollinator Havens - Which plants are your favorite to cultivate?

Post  landarch on 8/18/2014, 12:20 pm

Here's my Tiger Swallowtail...wings are in rough shape...hardly seen any this year.


Spiders are out full force...here's a big grasshopper suspended right above my SFG box in the community garden.

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U.S. Wildflowers Website

Post  Windmere on 8/19/2014, 10:55 am

Hello all,

I have been seriously researching wildflowers in connection with ordering some seeds.  I came across a site that was constructed by Gerry Williamson.  This website was created with obvious passion and dedication.  While the Williamson does qualify the website by saying "I am not a professional botanist, and there is a high likelihood that some identifications are incorrect," I think the writer is being modest.  It's clear that much time and effort went into compiling the listed data.  Now retired, Williamson has been able to dedicate more time to working on this website.

You can even filter results to get listings by individual states.  I looked up Georgia to help me determine which flower seeds I wanted to purchase.

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Re: Butterfly/Pollinator Havens - Which plants are your favorite to cultivate?

Post  camprn on 8/19/2014, 11:35 am

@Windmere wrote:Hello all,

I have been seriously researching wildflowers in connection with ordering some seeds.  I came across a site that was constructed by Gerry Williamson.  This website was created with obvious passion and dedication.  While the Williamson does qualify the website by saying "I am not a professional botanist, and there is a high likelihood that some identifications are incorrect," I think the writer is being modest.  It's clear that much time and effort went into compiling the listed data.  Now retired, Williamson has been able to dedicate more time to working on this website.

You can even filter results to get listings by individual states.  I looked up Georgia to help me determine which flower seeds I wanted to purchase.
link please.

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Outlander is outstanding!


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Re: Butterfly/Pollinator Havens - Which plants are your favorite to cultivate?

Post  Windmere on 8/19/2014, 11:44 am

@camprn wrote:
@Windmere wrote:Hello all,

I have been seriously researching wildflowers in connection with ordering some seeds.  I came across a site that was constructed by Gerry Williamson.  This website was created with obvious passion and dedication.  While the Williamson does qualify the website by saying "I am not a professional botanist, and there is a high likelihood that some identifications are incorrect," I think the writer is being modest.  It's clear that much time and effort went into compiling the listed data.  Now retired, Williamson has been able to dedicate more time to working on this website.

You can even filter results to get listings by individual states.  I looked up Georgia to help me determine which flower seeds I wanted to purchase.
link please.
Oh dear, I can't believe I did that... sorry: 

http://uswildflowers.com/

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The butterflies, the moths and the bees

Post  Windmere on 10/8/2014, 2:08 pm

I just had to post a couple photos from are garden.  We have Blue Mist flowers blooming like crazy and all the pollinators in our area seem to be visiting.

Here are a couple of butterflies.  My daughter took the picture of the first one and I took the picture of the second one a few minutes ago:








Anyway, I just wanted to share that.  We've got lots of honey bees visiting too.  Hope you all are well.

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Re: Butterfly/Pollinator Havens - Which plants are your favorite to cultivate?

Post  donnainzone5 on 10/8/2014, 7:44 pm

Absolutely gorgeous!

I've had a plethora of bees/pollinators this summer, although things got off to a slow start because of mid-June frost. 

Borage, Salvia, catmint, and purple basil have helped things along, especially the squashes.

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Re: Butterfly/Pollinator Havens - Which plants are your favorite to cultivate?

Post  Marc Iverson on 10/8/2014, 7:52 pm

Wow Windmere, really nice pictures!

I've found basil so beloved of bees that I tend to hardly get any myself. I just leave it to flower. They really swarm the stuff. And the dwarf basils get as many bees as the full-size ones. As we get into cooler weather and I'm not really getting flowers much at all on my tomatoes, cucumber, squash, peppers, etc., the basil is one of the few things I have left to offer the bees, so there's even more incentive not to eat it and just leave it for the bees.

The same thing happened last year. I love basil so I grow a lot of it. And then eat almost none of it.

They also loved my lobelia. I had a cascading type that has tiny dark blue flowers. Even a bee looks huge next to them. But it seems to work out between them.

Usually they love my mints, but none have blossomed yet.

They liked my veronica a bit, but it wasn't very vigorous this year. It's planted in regular soil that isn't so hot.

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The monarchs have returned

Post  Windmere on 10/9/2014, 9:37 am

Thank you Donna and Marc for your comments.  Those photos were taken with a relatively old and relatively cheap water-proof camera.  I'm happy with how well it works.

Marc, I very much understand you comments about basil.  Some of mine bolted just a few weeks ago and the bees went crazy over it.  Unfortunately, I had to clear it out to make way for garlic.  I felt bad about it, but I have some more that is on its way out and will be bolting soon.  Plus, the Blue Mist flowers and my marigolds have been attracting a huge array of pollinators.



Interestingly, my eggplant and my yellow bell pepper have resurrected.   I have about seven bell peppers and six eggplants developing.  I've added some more compost.  It seems like every flower that came up was pollinated and is now producing fruit.



One thing that is making happy is that there are monarch butterflies this year.  Last year there were maybe one or two that I saw all season.  This year there is an abundance.

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Re: Butterfly/Pollinator Havens - Which plants are your favorite to cultivate?

Post  sanderson on 10/9/2014, 1:12 pm

I meant to reply last night but it looks like I failed to hit Send. Gorgeous photos.

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Re: Butterfly/Pollinator Havens - Which plants are your favorite to cultivate?

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